A truly tasty free range Christmas Turkey…

With bonfire night over, we’ve already seen the shelves heaving with advent calendars, and we might have shed a tear at the John Lewis advert too. The countdown to Christmas is upon us, and it’s time to talk Turkey.

At field&flower we’re proud to be great friends with our free-range poultry farmer Stu, and we regularly visit the farm in the lead up to Christmas so we can share the journey of our Christmas turkeys with you.

Stu Perkins - Poultry Farmer

Stu Perkins – Poultry Farmer

Christmas is on Stu’s mind from February. This is when he puts in his bronze turkey order at the hatchery. His focus is on quality not quantity, thus Stu keeps his orders restricted to a small number so there is less stress on the birds. Stu chooses to farm this particular breed as they are naturally slow growing, and ultimately produce a better flavour. He rears his turkeys to full maturity, leading an active life for over 28 weeks, double the lifespan of supermarket birds.

In order to guarantee a truly free range turkey, Stu allows them to roam in endless space for their entire lives. They’re fed on a diet of homegrown cereals to ensure they thrive and grow to a healthy weight.

When the time comes to process the turkeys in early December, they are walked by Stu to the abbatoir on his farm. This creates zero food miles and prevents further stress for the birds. The turkeys are hung for two weeks which created optimum flavour and tenderness.  Then, before you know it, we carefully pack the turkeys and deliver them straight to your door ready for your Christmas dinner.

turkeyrime

You can tell, we think Stu is great. We asked Stu why he believes that a field&flower turkey is the right choice this Christmas

‘I think that when you buy a field&flower turkey, and what’s great about all the stuff they do, is that they know the farm, they know where their meat is coming from. James and James come here, they know the farm and have seen the birds that they are purchasing. True provenance and traceability. You’re not only getting a high welfare product sourced straight from the farm, you’re also getting a bird that it’s been processed in such a way that it’s at its optimum eating quality’

For these reasons we pay Stu 40 percent more than he would if he sold his flock to mass producing retailers. This then allows him to invest more in his farm and continue to specialise in breeding high-welfare birds. We feel so proud that we are able to not only offer a product of the highest quality but can also share a story behind your Christmas turkey too.

A field&flower free range Christmas Turkey

A field&flower free range Christmas Turkey

Don’t forget you can order your Christmas turkey with us now! We’re doing crowns, breasts and whole turkeys. Whether you’re feeding a few, or a big family we’ve got Christmas dinner sorted.  We deliver on Christmas eve too!

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Our founder James Mansfield’s Christmas favourites…

James Mansfield's Christmas order

James’s Christmas order:

1 small Turkey

1kg Honey roast ham

1kg topside beef

Sausages in bacon

200g smoked salmon

Hot smoked trout

Somerset brie

Bath blue

 

We usually have a Beef Roast on Christmas Eve. It’s become a bit of a tradition of my Dad’s but since I’ve been running field&flower I haven’t been able to be there, so this will be enjoyed in my absence unfortunately.

We will have the smoked salmon as a bit of a starter before our Christmas meal. My dad does it, he fancies himself as a bit of a Rick Stein in the kitchen!

We normally have six at ours for Christmas lunch, so a small turkey means we get plenty of left-overs. I always think it’s nice to have a smaller turkey and then have a few other meats rather than having to just eat turkey for the next four days.

The cheese is for whoever can manage it after our Christmas lunch, but I prefer this and our honey roast ham on Boxing Day. I’m looking forward to enjoying our new chutney and pickle range from The Bay Tree too…perhaps I’ll just have to eat all day to get through everything.

 

Do you get to enjoy Christmas when you’re rushing around?

Not really, it’s our busiest time of year. We don’t like letting people down so if it means dragging family members in to help out last minute then it has to be done. My sister will testify to that! field&flower have only had two proper Christmas periods before so sometimes the amount of orders can catch us off guard. We were delivering turkeys to family and friends until 10pm last year on Christmas Eve. I enjoy eating our turkey on Christmas day knowing there are 250 people doing the same thing… I get the odd photo from friends tucking in which is nice, we’re hoping to see lots more this year as we’ll be running our first photo competition.

 

What’s your earliest Christmas memory?

Getting my stocking on Christmas morning, and my Dad falling asleep by 3pm.

 

What do you eat on Christmas morning?

My mum is the most traditional person in the world so we always have to have bucks fizz, croissants and jam!

 

What’s your favourite non-meat Christmas food?

Who wouldn’t say chocolate?

 

Who cooks the lunch in your house?

Last year dad and me, as my mum was working on Christmas Day.

 

How many are there in your house on Christmas day?

Normally 6 but every third year up to 20.

 

What time do you normally eat lunch?

Around 3pm but it can vary depending on the Queen’s Speech and the Christmas walk (via the pub).

 

Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?

It used to be seeing friends and wrapping presents but now it’s delivering turkeys and getting to the pub in time for last orders.